Marietta, Minnesota & Yesterday’s Dreams

The first time I’d heard reference to Marietta, Minnesota, I was a college student living in a large, North Mankato, MN, rental house  – 1976, I believe. (The summer of “Afternoon Delight” to add a music reference)   A room was available and in moved a recent high school graduate to the top floor of the old Range Street house.
Me:  Where are you from?
Her:  Marietta, Minnesota
Me:  Hmmm… never heard of it. Where is it?
Her:  East of Watertown, South Dakota and west of Madison, Minnesota
Me:  That doesn’t help – haven’t heard of them, either.

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Main Street Marietta, MN 1999
BW medium format film / processed in darkroom / hand colored
Bronika ETRSi medium format camera
scanned as digital file / dirt texture added in Photoshop CS5

As fate would have it, 7 years later I would find myself living 7 miles west of Marietta, Minnesota and would soon learn the geographical locations of villages and towns that could have been part of the wild west.

By the time I arrived,  Marietta was a quiet little village with very little commerce.  Not always so, according to local historians (AKA relatives).

Circa 1967:

  • Why Go Restaurant: (Kids hangout)
  • Hardware store
  • Millie’s Popcorn Stand
  • Johnson’s Chuckwagon Cafe.
  • Nelson’s Jewelry Store
  • Maas Recreation Hall
  • Carl Raetz Marietta Produce
  • Forest Ward Standard Oil
  • Dahle’s Value Mart
  • Bank
  • Orpheum movie theater
  • Red Owl Grocery Store
  • Elevator
  • Coop station
  • Telephone Office
  • Silvernale’s Drug Store & soda Fountain
  • Don Russell’s Barber Shop
  • Roth’s Cafe
  • Post office
  • International dealer
  • Bud’s Station
  • Kanthak’s Auto Service
  • Idle Hour: bar/pool hall
  • Lily Mills Thread Store
  • American Legion
  • Les Hoium’s Butcher Shop
  • Creamery
  • Hotel
  • A 2nd grocery store?
  • Laundromat
  • Pool Hall
  • Red Owl Store
  • Shackelfords Lumber Yard
  • K-12 High School
  • Three churches

Imagine my surprise as they reeled off such an extensive list  of establishments that have been part of the history of Marietta, Minnesota during the years of love, peace and the Vietnam War ~ the1960’s.

What happened?

The talented Charlie Roth featured Marietta, Minnesota in his music video, Broken Ground, and tells the story well.

Can this town be saved?  Technology and the work ethics of its people may be the ticket to help this town and other typical rural communities.  Living in a slower paced, small  town or rural location may be a lifestyle dream someday for those tired of the traffic and rush that urban living requires.

As Mr. Rogers said so well:  Won’t you  be my neighbor? 

 

Prairie Whispers

The prairie softly whispers in hushed tones as the brisk air of night surrounds our world.
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Photo info: Canon 5d Mark 2 / 70-200 lens / aperture 5.6 / shutter 1/200 / Time of day – 11 a.m.
Blended with cloud images and snow added from Albums DS art

You don’t choose your life… you live it.

~The Way

Another phase of my life goes by… taking a career break from traditional portraiture.

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This has been in the planning stages for the past 4 months and I was going to wait until mid October to announce my future plans, but I guess now is as good a time as any.

It’s been 16 years of growth and transformation, starting with 35mm and medium format film, darkroom processing and now the digital age with Lightroom and Photoshop. It is time to move on, so I will be closing the traditional portrait studio as of October 15, 2013.  All sessions scheduled up to that point will go on as planned and the current website will be up until May 1, 2014 to facilitate senior orders.  After that, I’ll start working on a new website reflecting the art of both Randy and myself.  The studio will then be transformed into Randy’s painting studio and workshop.  It’s his turn now.

I still love photography and hope to continue learning and exploring new, unusual techniques and push for a more and more creative style. Maybe even try an impressionistic painting style of photography.  I also plan to continue showing art work in galleries, promote the arts,  and hope to find time to put together other products using images.  (Greeting card line?)  I may ask to borrow some of your kids if I get an idea for some prairie photography because, after all, southwest Minnesota/Eastern South Dakota is a great place to raise children and that is a theme near and dear to my heart.

I will not be twiddling my thumbs and eating bonbons by the truck load, as I move into this phase of my life.  I’ll need to complete this year’s photo orders, try to be Randy’s farm hand/gopher, occasionally Granny Nanny (Grandkid #2 is expected in March 2014), clean/organize/paint inside the house and sheds (long overdue), continue involvement with community and art organizations, garden and go back to the classroom environment as a substitute teacher – look out, G-D!

Then, in my spare time, I’ll learn Spanish, how to knit/crochet, bike/hike or maybe even jog, work on songs with Randy (maybe my sister will dust off her accordion and we can hit the nursing home circuit!), read the books I haven’t had time to read and travel / hike anywhere I can, as well as visit friends and relatives.  Yep, lots to do.

Don’t worry, I’ll still blog about whatever trail I’m on or something that wanders through my mind and conjure up some “thought for the day” to amuse myself and the world from time to time.  Hey, I may even bring back “Photo Friday” with educational topics.

Thank you to all who have been on this journey with me…  It’s been a good ride.

Day 9… It’s what you CAN do…

…not what you can’t.

A man on a bicycle approaches us speaking Spanish and, through his photos, we understand his purpose.

Spain-1040239dmvRandy is signing the guest book of sales. This gentleman, on the bike, pedals the Camino selling t-shirts to fund trips to Para Olympic athletic events. His binder is full of news articles and photos of his participation to help prove that he is legit. Scam or not, we purchase a 10 Euro t-shirt and don’t regret it. You just have to trust once in a while.

Spain-1040242dmvcrPlus, he shares a cell phone photo of his baby AFTER the sale (Or, maybe he thought we’d buy more shirts).  I mention to Randy that it could be anyone’s cute little baby, but Randy chooses to trust that the story is all truth.

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I’m happy to discover that he is legit and our t-shirt purchase is going toward an honest endevour. Check it out at this website:  http://ionutpreda.com/

Spain-1040247dmvThe path is along the side of a tar road and the old wall has a sturdy appearance.
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The origin of the horreo is the horreum from the Roman Empire, and is an old technology that has nearly disappeared in the rest of the empire regions.

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A horreo is for storing grain off the ground to keep rodents out and the design dates back to the Celtic era. Some are quite substantial and made all of stone.

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Hmmm… So many signs to read. Oh, look left!! Oh, my goodness!!!

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This photo doesn’t really imply the height of this monument built to recognize the pilgrimage and a papal visit. We estimate it to be around 50 feet high.

Spain-1040262dmvMonte do Gozo (Hill of Joy) is a hill in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain. It is known for being the place where Christian pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) get their first views of the three spires of their destination, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. At 370 meters (1,210 ft), it is the pilgrims’ last hill and last stop before reaching the cathedral, with about an hour’s walk still to go, and by tradition is where they cry out in rapture at finally seeing the end of their path.  ~Wikipedia

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Another pilgrim tells me that I should be able to see the cathedral from the monument hilltop area, but I can’t seem to make anything out.
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This modern sculpture utilizes all four sides in its design.

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The Capilla de San Marcos looks rustic, but isn’t all that old compared to what we’ve already seen.  Follow another path and it takes you to an albergue that has 500 hostel beds in rooms of 4 to 8 beds.

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We are not stopping here so I guess we’d better follow the arrow to the right and head down the hill.

One more hour of walking…

Camino Day 8 ~ Meet South Korea, poultry and more.

It’s the afternoon of Camino day eight and we continue down the path.

Spain-1030952dmvOur new friends this afternoon are from South Korea. (From now on referred to as Korea) One is a software engineer for Samsung (My tablet is a Samsung) and the other works at the Seoul airport. They requested a photo with us so we reciprocated.  They started the Camino at the border of France and have been walking for 37 days.  I don’t know how they did the Pyrenees during the winter let alone O Cebreiro.  Tough cookies!

Spain-1030964dmvGrapevines are found on many of the fences. Homemade wine, perhaps?

Spain-1030968dmvSmall, elevated buildings appear in this region. A horreo holds grain and some are quite elaborate with crosses on the top.

Spain-1030973dmvFamiliar scene for those of us from the farm.

Spain-1030977dmvSomehow this character trying to entice me into the bar creeps me out.  Looks like something out of a horror movie!

Spain-1030980dmvYep, still creepy.

Spain-1030983dmvAre you sure this is the way?

Spain-1030988dmvLeft or right?  Hmmm…

Spain-1030989dmvA quick shower of rain, but the temps aren’t too bad. The path winds through old, old buildings in a small hamlet.

Spain-1030993dmvI’m surprised to find so many trees and flowers blooming this early in the spring.

Spain-1030996dmvI tried to find information on Outeiro, Spain but all the pilgrims must be too tired, at this point, to care.

Spain-1030999dmvIt may not be raining right now, but creeks are still running at full speed.

Spain-1040004dmvcrPretty poultry brighten our Camino experience.

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My grandma would say that the Bontons live here. Must be an affluent resident to have a palm tree growing in the yard, landscaping, security fencing and a nicer house than the neighbors.

Randy and I are lagging behind the rest of the group, as usual.  Randy checks in with the 2-way radio.

Randy to Hot Cross Buns… bleep!  Nothing

Again he tries to make contact:

Randy to Hot Cross Buns…bleep! 

Contact is made:  Garble, mumble, rumble, waa-waa-waa…boom,boom-boom, boom… RANDY!!!!

Randy looks at me with a puzzled look,  It sounds like a bar…

Camino Day 7 continues with some suds

Cleanliness is next to Godliness ~ Ancient ProverbSpain-1030835dmvWash day takes on a whole new meaning.  It doesn’t mean quickly throwing a load in and doing something else while it runs through the cycles.

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The swollen river rushes by as I look below from the medieval bridge.Spain-1030824dmv

Scrub-a-dub-dub

Spain-1030837dmvChurch Furelos  in Melide.

Spain-1030838dmvSome of the buildings date back to the 10th century.

Spain-1030839dmvTake advantage of a little sunshine when you can.

Spain-1030843dmvArtwork of Jesus never gets old.  The weathered textures add another dimension to this piece.

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Large stepping-stones are a gift as the rushing water swirls around us. The water wasn’t too deep, but it would have been an inconvenience to fall in, at this point.

We hike through 4 to 5 inches of mud, manure and water, up and down steep hills, all the while enjoying the countryside, small villages and hamlets. (At least, I am enjoying it)  The day is getting longer and fewer photos are captured since I need to make some time and get to our destination.
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Break time.

Spain-1030855People leave coins on the wall, so I think I’ll leave a Jamaican coin I have rolling around in my bag.

Spain-1030860We meet two new Camino friends today from New Jersey.  An Orthopedic surgeon and his fiance, who is a nurse in a memory care facility.  Interesting conversations make the walking seem a little easier.

We arrive in Ribadiso only to find that the albergue has not opened yet for the season and are given directions to an albergue in Arzua.  Another 5 kilometers… A-r-r-r-g-h!!

We walk and walk and walk some more.  This long day is starting to seem like an eternity.

O.K., will we find lodging just around the corner?… past the next grove of trees?…  at the top of this hill?  Maybe it’s never going to appear, and we’ll have to sleep under the stars.

Our distance today is approaching 21 miles.

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A-h-h… O Retiro. You are a friend of mine.

Camino Day 6 ~ Meet Carmen, Luisa and Ireland

Portomarin was where we slumbered last night in Albergue Ultreia which is run by a charming woman named Carmen.  Carmen’s eyes sparkle and shine and she has a way of getting her message across with grand gestures of arms and hands.  She is a strong, hard working woman, grabbing two wet backpacks and hoisting them up a flight of stairs as though they were merely purses.

We settled in to our dorm room filled with about 10 bunk beds and were immediately invited into the kitchen area by a fun group of young Spaniards having happy hour before their home cooked meal.  They offered us shots of some kind of liquor that had a good “kick” to it, so that helped warm us up inside and out.  I’m guessing it’s the anise liquor made in Spain. Again, must have been too tired to take a picture.  You will meet them later, though.

We were lucky enough to have a washer and drier which is accessed by going outside to the upstairs balcony.  Carmen’s English speaking daughter, Luisa, is extremely helpful with everything from washing and drying clothes to planning our next day, day six.

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Thanks to Albergue Ultreia, our clothing has been washed and dried and our boots have been on little heaters all night.  The blisters on Randy’s feet catch the attention of one of the young Spanish girls staying at the hostal and she offers sympathy and blister salve, if he needed it. People on the Camino show such kindness to complete strangers, that it warms the heart and gives a positive outlook towards mankind.

Coffee machine in the kitchen brews me some delicious, hot java to get my groove on and we eat the rolls we had purchased the night before at the local grocery store. What a great way to start a new day!
Spain-1030715dmvWe are in the center of town so Lori is getting directions from Luisa.

Spain-1030714dmvDiane, Jane and Joan pose for a photo with our friend, Luisa.  Luisa is also a pharmicist along with helping her mother with the albergue.  We met Dad this morning when he was opening up the albergue for the day. Wonderful family.   I am wondering if the black and white photo on the wall is of the old Roman bridge that is now under water.

Spain-1030720dmvLuisa manned the camera, so this is one of the few photos I am in.  I notice the sidewalk is dry and no rain is falling ~ Hooray!

Spain-1030724dmvcrMeet our new friends from Ireland.  They are all turning 30 years old this year and are celebrating their birthdays together on the Camino.  They signed up with a travel tour that transports their luggage for them, so they only have smaller daypacks.  With or without bags, they will still get wet today. Rain gear is essential no matter what you are carrying.  From now on they will be referred to as Ireland.  Such as…

Did you see Ireland at the pub today?

Yes, I did see Ireland at the pub today!  No, wait… that’s tomorrow.